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Laid Off! How Men Lose More Than Their Jobs...They Lose Their Identity

December 5, 2015

Written by Dwayne Klassen

 So another round of layoffs hits and you find yourself and your team are next on the chopping block. The package is fair but far from enough given the circumstances you now find yourself in.

 

Reality hits in and you realize the market is not actually clamouring for your particular set of skills or expertise. In fact, guys like you are a dime a dozen in a market that's not hiring.

 

You've put five, ten, fifteen years or more into your career. The company was good to you, you enjoyed your work and the culture was one you felt at home in. Outside of your intimate relationships, your career defined who you were in a big way.

 

I can relate. Several years ago I had created a business from the ground up with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement. We were about to take the world by storm. We had raised a ton of start up capital and the dream was alive! I was so on fire with where my life was and where I was going. 

 

Then the tide began to turn. My "perfect storm" was brewing in the distance. 

 

Well into its second year, I had manifested some less than honourable people to help me run the day to day operations. It was a fatal move. Six months later I was fighting for the ownership and survival of the company. An 18 month legal battle ensued. I eventual won back my company but there was nothing left to save. It was in financial ruin and I reluctantly had to put the white flag up and let it go.

 

However, the story doesn't end there. As much as I took a big hit financially, I also took a big hit internally. I felt like I was betrayed. Not just from my partners but from the Universe itself. I had the world by the horns and put so much of who I was into my business because I was sure that this was the rest of my life. It was my golden ticket to living the life of my dreams.

 

I woke up with the cold realization that it was no more. 

 

It was a hard body slam. One I was not prepared for.

 

Something also occured; As a leader and self proclaimed "expert" of the entrepreneurial journey, I didn't do what I thought I'd do. 

 

I did not put on my Superman cape, suck it up and get back in the ring to take life on in the next round. It was not the story of "Never say die." or "Look out world, here I come!"

 

Instead, I allowed the loss of my business to shape my identity. I felt like a failure, a loser and out of alignment with what I thought my purpose was. Most of all I felt less of a man. 

 

Yeah, my identity of a successful, alpha, pioneering entrepreneur was gone! Poof!

 

I became lethargic, small (no easy feat when you are 6'-4"), resentful and depressed. The spring in my step was gone and my perma-smile faded away. I even developed deep furrows in my forehead from frowning so much.

 

I struggled to get my shit together and in doing so my relationship suffered. My masculine energy tanked and once it did that's when the other shoe dropped. It cost me my relationship of 2 years. A relationship I thought would be "The One".

 

I tell you this story not to feel sorry for me. I tell you this because I know how the journey can go for many men when they are faced with the sudden realization that their career loss could be intimately linked to the loss of their identity.

 

 

So here's what you do if you find yourself faced with a new reality after being laid off:

 

Yes, the career played a big part of who you are. No question. However, It's not ALL of who you are.

 

Your identity is much more than a business, career or job. It's about the Man you have created while you were there. In other words, what can you take away from this experience? What did your time in the company teach you about you?

 

How have you forged yourself? What gifts can you take away from this experience?

 

Now here's the biggest thing that I learned through my experience. It may not be what you want to hear, nor may you be ready for it.

 

Whether it resonates with you or not at this stage, the reality is...it is the truth. A truth you will eventually accept as your awareness opens up.

 

The truth is: YOU created this layoff to occur!

 

Ouch! How's that for a shot to the solar plexus?  Breathe!

 

Hear me out. I know when my coach told me that it was I that created the implosion of my company, I was really not ready for it. My ego was way too busy with righteous indignation as I pointed fingers at my former partners as to how THEY did this to me.

 

You and your fellow associates and colleagues might be too busy pointing fingers at the government, management, ownership, "The corrupt system" and so on for how unfair it is to find yourself unemployed. Those bastards! 

 

This finger pointing that you do also shapes your identity...The identity of a victim.

 

When you are a victim of circumstance you are powerless. 

 

Take the idea on that YOU created this scenario to play out. Let that marinate for a while.

 

When I took full responsibility for where I found myself. Things changed pretty fast!

 

Even when I took on this truth, I admit I was pretty stubborn and actually wanted to wallow in my self-pity and continue to spread the story about my pain so others would feel sorry for me. It helped to justify the loss of my company in a much more palpable way.

 

But how can you be responsible for a layoff that was department, division or company wide? "Whoa! That's just crazy talk!" "The most ridiculous thing ever!" "How dare you!!"

"It was THEM!" "I was just doing my job thank you very much...and look what I get for it!!"

 

Easy my friend, I hear you.

 

What I am referring to is a much more profound level of responsibility. 

 

You created this job loss for a much bigger reason than you can imagine. This had to happen for your greatest growth and upliftment. You created it in order for the next chapter of your life to actually happen.

 

This realization is what it took for me to take my power and identity back. A much better identity I might add.

 

I stopped pointing fingers because I realized that there were 3 fingers always pointing back at me. I manifested these "bad dudes" because I failed to do my due diligence. I failed to enforce our operating procedures and I failed to take action when the appropriate action could have saved my company. I did not do that. 

 

I also knew in my heart of hearts that the trajectory I was on for my life was not connected to my soul. It was all ego based. In truth is was all about "Look at my car, look at my clothes, look at my beautiful girlfriend" and so on.

 

This happened to teach me about business law, business systems and authentic leadership. It happened so I could focus on my true purpose and passion.

 

When I took responsibility, then and only then did my power came back! I knew it all happened to help shape me for the next chapter of my life. The life I am living today. I am THE Coach For Men, the most fulfilling and rewarding path I could have ever imagined. It could never have happened without the loss of my company and the identity that went with it.

 

Take some time to sit with this idea.

 

The idea that something greater is in store for you. Let go of any blame for where you find yourself. I know it's hard to do when you've created a story around blaming your government or the company. However, when you decide to let the story go you'll begin to realize that it is all happening for a much bigger reason.

 

You may already know what that reason is. You may be in fact nodding your head in agreement of these words.

 

I know it may not be easy right now, and you may be feeling a lot of pressure from your spouse, family and your bills. But rest assured knowing that you are more than your present situation.

 

You are not a victim! So stop acting like one!

 

There is no higher power out to make your life a living hell!

 

You are a man of worth, talent, purpose and passion. Know it!

 

It just needs to be directed in the right place.

 

This is my greatest strength in my coaching: to help men in creating a plan for the next phase of their lives. It's about rebuilding the core of who you are so that your authentic masculine power is reignited to blaze a new path.

 

Take ownership of the layoff. 

 

When you begin to focus your energies on what's possible rather than the impossible, you'll be surprised at how things begin to unfold for you. The mindset becomes "I'm-Possible".

 

You don't have to go it alone. Higher a coach to help you navigate these uncharted waters. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get the resources and tools you need to be the Remarkable Man you know is within you. I wish I had a hired a coach sooner than I did to help me in my time of need as it would have shaved at least a year off my suffering and uncertainty.

 

Yes, you may feel that you have lost a part of your identity. It's hard I know. However, It may just be the very part of you that needed to go.

 

Think of it this way. You are the artist of your life. You paint new tapestries of what's possible every day. As the artist...just know that the layoff just gave you a fresh canvas. 

 

What are you going to paint today?

 

 

 

Please share "Like" and comment on this article if you felt it was of value to you. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

 

Remember, you are not alone on the journey...I've got your back!

 

Dwayne Klassen

#TheCoachForMen

www.DwayneKlassen.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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